Q: Is it legal to be arrested because of a warrant for not appearing in court if I never received court date information?
I was never served or received any court documents about appearing in court over non payment for a furniture rental. I had no idea there was a warrant out for my arrest. I rented furniture from a rent to own furniture company and fell behind on the payments. The company was unwilling to make payment arrangements. Then, one night I was pulled over, arrested, and spent a night in jail. I'm now on three years of probation. The case has now been vacated. I want to know if the arrest was legal and if my due process or civil rights have been violated. Please let me know. Thank you.
A: Typically a judgment may not be entered without the plaintiff demonstrating proof of service. If you were not personally served, the plaintiff may have used an alternative method of service such as service by publication (where the plaintiff runs a legal notice in a newspaper that covers the area of your last known residence. If there was a warrant for your arrest, the arrest was legal and that act would not constitute a violation of your due process or civil rights. Your only likely claim would be against the furniture rental company if they perpetrated a fraud on the court by offering fictitious evidence of personal service.
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